If you've had it up to your ears with holiday eggnog and fruitcake -- or, maybe you want something easy to serve with chips while watching football bowl games and playoffs -- fresh guacamole is just the ticket.
There are few things I enjoy more than guacamole made right on the spot: fresher than fresh, wholesome and delicious. And, it's really simple to make, with no cooking involved.
1/2 small onion, minced
2 fresh serrano chile peppers or 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 ripe tomato, cored and finely chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
3 ripe avocados
1/2 tsp. salt
juice from 1/2 lime
minced cilantro (optional)
In a medium-size bowl or a Mexican molcajete (pictured), mix the onion, chiles, tomato and garlic together.
Avocados turn dark brown or grey very quickly after being exposed to air. So, near the time you plan to serve the guacamole, halve the avocados lengthwise by cutting from stem to stem with a sharp knife, around the hard pit.
Twist the avocado halves in opposite directions to open and "unscrew" the avocado. Remove and discard the pits and scoop the avocado into the bowl.
Using a molcajete pestle, a potato masher, a spoon, or your hands, mash together the avocado while mixing in the other ingredients. I like guacamole to be somewhat chunky; for smoother guacamole, just keeping mashing until it's the consistency you prefer.
Flavor with salt and lime juice and stir. Optionally, you could also toss in some minced cilantro, if you like.
Set aside for a few minutes to allow the flavors to intermingle. Serve with tortilla chips.